Travelling has become all too difficult.
Travelling has become all too difficult. istock

Travel ... you can keep it: OPINION

MY ABILITY to travel overseas has been severely curtailed in recent years because of a number of factors beyond my control.

Contracting Ross River fever was the start; one tiny mosquito bite back in 2013 was a life-changer.

Than my dog developed Addison's disease and as a result she doesn't cope well with stress. I try to reserve kennels for situations that are real obligations, and the thought of leaving her in one for weeks while I go off gallivanting in far-flung places is a bit too hard.

That may well change, but until then I am restricted to family celebrations and the odd visit to friends in the big smoke (which, frankly, I'm happy to do less and less frequently).

So now - with a little nostalgia - I look back on the days when I explored foreign shores but frankly, it's becoming so difficult to deal with the security restrictions necessarily placed on us, I can't say I miss it too much. And I've never been wealthy enough to head for the pointy end of a plane, so the first week of any overseas trip was usually spent wandering around feeling like a zombie; the possibility of sleeping aloft in an actual bed will forever elude me, sadly.

I did get an upgrade once flying to Bali because my companion was a frequent flier, but on the way home we were back in cattle class, with cornrowed yobs sleeping on the floor as their tans peeled off in the refrigerated air.

I survived a number of unpleasant situations abroad, almost all to do with heavy-handed customs and immigration officials (mostly in the US - and this was pre-9/11). I had a pair of sunglasses snatched off my face one time at LAX and was given a warning not to dare wear them again while entering the country as that was what drug addicts do. Really? I was just hiding the bags under my eyes - from the 13-hour flight - that were bigger than the carry-on I was dragging. Another year, same airport, and I went through customs with someone else's luggage (my fault).

Another memorable trip was to Canada with my 17-year-old son and his best mate; unbeknown to me they'd smoked pot in the bedroom the night before we left, with their suitcases open on the floor; the smell penetrated their clothing. The beagles pounced and I had to do some fast talking to get us through customs, then officials accused me of kidnapping a minor as he didn't have a letter from his parents saying he could travel. Yes, Ma'am, I kidnapped a teenager and forced him to snowboard in Whistler at great expense. As you do.

Come to think of it, I don't miss travelling one bit.



After horror explosion, Scott knows value of our chopper

Premium Content After horror explosion, Scott knows value of our chopper

Lismore man was flown by service that's “too precious to lose”

Man on 56 charges wants case to proceed to trial

Premium Content Man on 56 charges wants case to proceed to trial

Police allege they found stolen jewellery, power tools, watches

Details on phone intercepts sought in cocaine supply case

Premium Content Details on phone intercepts sought in cocaine supply case

Suffolk Park woman is expected to defend her allegations